It’s a bit of a crunch time for us and we’re looking for was ways to cut some fat off our budget for a just a bit of time for this town house purchase. I noticed that these tips also work with building a bigger debt reduction fund, so I decided to focus on the post in that direction. That’s the great thing about learning more about finances: you can take what you need, apply it to your situation and have a big effect.

Cut Unnecessary Expenses

The easiest way is to cut items off your budget that suck up your money without giving you an improvement in quality of life. You can also look at cheaper alternatives for things that you enjoy.

Entertainment: Instead of going to the movie theaters every weekend or eating out several times a week, try something like visiting museums and galleries on free nights, camping or visiting local and national parks, and free concerts downtown.

Gambling and Smoking: While we don’t smoke, we have some relatives that do, so I wanted to mention this as an idea. Eliminating smoking can decrease your bills and improve your health.  You can get rid of a money drain if you’re a gambler.

Credit Cards: Try to not increase your debt while you’re digging out of it. Hide, freeze, or cut up your credit cards.

Telephone: See if there is any way to reduce your telephone expense. Use Skype or another VOIP for your land line. Double check your cell phone plan to make sure you have the right plan.

Cable: Get the limited basic package temporarily to see if you miss the channels. At the very least request to have your cable bill lowered.

Finding a Balance

I mentioned this awhile back, but I’ll include it for new readers:

I just write from my personal perspective. I’m not financial expert and do not claim to be one. If you’re looking at this blog or any other for that matter to get you answers for your personal situation, then you could be applying advice that has no merit with you. It like diagnosing yourself for a disease from the web. It can be bad for your health.

Look at your situation and decide what works best for you. If having cable saves you money compared to going out to dinner and movies for the whole family, look elsewhere to cut. The main idea is to find what doesn’t matter to you and just cut it out or reduce the expense.